San Juan County

 Public Information Statement  Statement as of 10:30 am PDT on October 9, 2015

... Columbus day storm anniversary is Monday October 12th...

Monday October 12th is the 53rd anniversary of the 1962 Columbus day
storm... the strongest non-tropical wind storm ever to hit the lower
48 in American history. As the granddaddy of all wind storms... all
other wind storms are compared to it.

This storm was extraordinary. Wind speeds exceeded 150 mph along the
Oregon and Washington coasts and topped 100 mph in the western
interior valleys from Eugene to Bellingham. Since either many wind
instruments lost power or were destroyed by the strong winds... the
actual highest wind speeds were not measured or known.

The storm killed 46 people from northern California to Washington
and injured hundreds of others. It blew down or destroyed thousands
of buildings and knocked out power to millions of people from San
Francisco to southern British Columbia. The wind storm blew down 15
billion board feet of Timber from the coast to as far east as
western Montana... enough lumber to build a million homes.

Could another storm like this one occur again? The answer is yes.
And now many more people live in the region than back in 1962 along
with all the accompanying infrastructure support. For instance... the
1962 population of western Washington was about 1.5 million. Today
it is over 6 million. Imagine what would happen if that storm struck
again today?

Wind storms occur almost every year in the Pacific northwest. Some
of our regions stronger ones occur about every 10 years such as the
hanukkah eve wind storm of December 2006 that knocked out power to
about 1.5 million people in western Washington.

So it is prudent to prepare now for wind storms or any other
hazardous weather or other events that can occur such as
earthquakes... tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Here are a few key
resources to help you get ready at home... at work or school... or in
your vehicle. When you are prepared... you are not scared.



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